It’s no secret that we love coconuts over here at Amazin’ Graze. It’s featured in our granolas, nut mixes, nut butters – the list goes on! Ever wondered why we love coconuts so much? Are coconuts healthy? Read on to find out!
Image source: The Candida Diet
Think of a tropical vacation, and chances are you’ll imagine a gorgeous beach with coconut trees blowing in the wind. Coconuts are so central to our identity here in tropical Southeast Asia, both in landscape as well as in the food we eat. Take a look at Southeast Asian recipes, and you’ll see coconut featured as a staple ingredient in many of them.
So why do we Southeast Asians love coconut so much? And is it healthy to be eating so much coconut?
Coconut flesh is rich in fiber
Image source: WatchFit
One of the best qualities of coconuts is that they’re incredibly diverse. Every part of the coconut provides a different benefit! The white meat of the coconut is especially rich in fiber (9 g per 100 g!). This fiber content increases even more when it’s in its dried or dessicated form. However, do look out for the sugar content of these products, as dried coconut that is packaged commercially tends to have lots of simple sugar added to it.
Coconut water is loaded with electrolytes
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Who needs isotonic drinks when we have coconuts?! Coconut water has natural electrolytes like potassium, phosphorus, and sodium. This makes it ideal for replenishing lost minerals while being relatively low in carbohydrates (read: sugars). Considering the amount of sweating we do in this hot tropical climate, there’s a lot to gain from this natural sports drink!
Again, do be sure to watch for sugar content when buying commercial coconut water, as they typically add sugars to enhance its taste. The best source of coconut water? Straight from the coconut!
Coconut oil is made up of MCTs
Image source: Well-Being Secrets
With all the negative press behind saturated fat as a risk factor for heart disease, people are conflicted over whether coconut oil is healthy or not. However, the studies do agree on the fact that coconut oil is mostly made up of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), a kind of fat that is very different from the saturated fat that causes heart disease.
MCTs are much easier for your body to process and use for energy. In fact, they’re even used as therapy for some kinds of medical conditions. However, while coconut oil is certainly a healthier kind of fat, it is still a fat and is high in calories – so go easy if you’re watching your weight!
Coconut milk is lactose-free
Image source: Dr. Oz
Great news for us lactose-intolerant Southeast Asians (and let’s face it, most of us can’t handle our lactose)! Coconut milk is a delicious substitute for regular dairy milk! It can be used just like milk is – as a drink, a base for cereal, a creamer for coffee, and as a liquid in most baking recipes. However, it is worth noting that coconut milk tends to be quite low in protein as compared to dairy milk. So, if you’re looking to increase your protein intake, perhaps soy milk would serve as a better substitute.
We could go on and on, but suffice it to say – we love coconuts and we’re so glad they love our bodies back too! We’re proud to feature coconuts as part of our Southeast Asian heritage – it helps that they’re absolutely delicious and contribute great flavour to our healthy snacks!